Editorial: Turkey's Empty Threats have Lost Their Meaning
By Vahagn Avedian

The Foreign Affairs Committee of the US Congress affirmed on October 10th the H. Res. 106 calling upon the US president to recognize and condemn the Armenian massacres in the Ottoman Turkey during World War I as genocide.

The congressional recognition of the Armenian Genocide is a highly welcome decision which should have come already in 2000. Then, however, President Bill Clinton managed to stop the voting. President George W. Bush attempted to achieve the same as his predecessor with the very same arguments, but this time with less success. Clinton’s argument, as those of Bush’s, were “the risking of the ties with the NATO-ally Turkey, lost Pentagon orders, and setback for the global war against terrorism.”

This is, however, neither anything new nor an isolated case. Turkey’s only weapon against recognition of the Armenian genocide has been and is empty threats about economic and diplomatic boycotts and reprisals. In retro-perspective one can clearly confirm that these threats about weakened relations are nothing than a last desperate measure for stopping a recognition of a historic fact. The French recognition in year 2001 resulted in “punishment” of French companies by lost contracts in Turkey. But the fact is that the Turkish-French trade exchange has increased by 135 % since that. The Belgium-Turkish has risen with 167 % while the Greek-Turkish trade exchange has increased by 266 % since their respective recognition of the Armenian genocide.

These threats have proven to be nothing than empty bluffs, something that the American House of Representatives have obviously taken note of and considered in their recent decision making. The question of the recognition of the Armenian genocide is no longer for the academic research. That bit has already been covered. Now it is up to the governments and parliaments around the world to assume the responsibility for recognizing, condemning and preventing similar crimes against humanity.